Jack, Amber fish
All Florida, the Bahamas and Caribbean.
Adults are common at
various depths, ranging from reefs several
hundred feet deep to fairly shallow wrecks and
reefs. Big ones also come close to shore at
times, particularly in the Keys and the Islands.
Artificial reefs and wrecks all along the Gulf
Coast often harbor huge schools of smaller
Amberjack, and many Gulf wrecks are home to big
ones as well.
Overall brownish or goldish. Heavy body. No
scutes forward of tail fin. Dark oblique line
through the eye that ends at the dorsal fin.
Schools of young fish are common at 5-20 pounds.
Average size over deep wrecks and reefs is 30-60
pounds, but 100-pounders are not too rare and
the potential maximum exceeds 150 pounds. World
record 155 pounds, 10 ounces.
Excellent, smoked or fresh.
A strong, punishing fighter that powers deep and
defies lifting. Fairly long runs can also occur
early in the fight. A great deal of stamina
matches their strength. Novices may fight
Amberjack of average size for an hour or longer.
Amberjack are most often caught aboard charter
boats and party boats on heavy rods and reels
with lines testing 50 pounds or more and are no
patsies, even then. Experienced light-tackle
anglers can successfully battle them with
spinning and bait casting rigs, and even fly
rods. Around wrecks, they frequently follow
hooked fish to boat side, and also may rise to
the top voluntarily. Then they can be cast to
with surface plugs, spoons, jigs, or big fly rod
streamers and poppers. Live chum will also draw
Amberjack from the depths. Best bait with heavy
tackle is any sort of live fish, the friskier
Casting; Drifting; Trolling.